Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 10/22/14
While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com. Good news for Cavs fans or extreme overconfidence- “SI: Can you get this done? And is it hard that after winning five championships you’re battling to make the playoffs? Bryant: It’s not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will. And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone — Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver … whoever. I have zero nervousness about that. SI: OK, that’s you, who has never been known for lack of confidence. Bryant: But I’m not talking about just me. Us as a group. We will make the playoffs. And we will compete. And part of the reason I have that confidence is the Miami game [a 107-97 loss in Miami on Feb. 10]. We had control of the game. That was no fluke. We were playing very, very well. We were reading the defense, making the extra pass. OK, they have two great players [LeBron James and Dwayne Wade] who scored eight straight buckets and took control of the game. But we were right there. We can do it.” [McCallum/SI.com] —- Fun read about Luke Walton’s rookie experience- “Was there any one veteran who was extra-tough on you or one that took it easy? Walton: No. They all took turns. They all took turns being hard on us. And they all took turns of really helping us. I remember one game: Kevin Willis was trying to rough me up. I think he was with San Antonio at the time. And he kept dirty-fouling me – the way vets do rookies sometimes when they get in the league. So I’m trying to fight back with him, but I don’t know if I’m stepping over the line or what. So Shaq tells me: ‘Run him off me, young fella.’ So I say alright and run him off a pick. And I don’t see what happened; I just hear the whistle blow. And I turn around and look at Willis and he’s just lying on the floor. They called an offensive foul on Shaq and he just looked at me like: ‘I got your back.’ And I thought when Shaq tells you that, that’s a good feeling.” [Cavaliers.com] —- “You’re not alone in your skepticism of Lombardi. But you’re going to have to get used to him for a while. When Banner introduced Lombardi at the introductory press conference, Banner showed his commitment to this hire when he said, “There’s no question he’s near or at the top of quality talent evaluators.” So it would look bad on Banner if this marriage ended quickly. My skepticism of Lombardi is based on a couple of instances. When he was with the NFL Network, Lombardi bashed Tom Heckert’s last draft as well as the addition of wide receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft. This is the same draft that produced seven promising prospects (and three immediate starters): running back Trent Richardson, quarterback Brandon Weeden, offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, defensive linemen Billy Winn and John Hughes, linebacker James-Michael Johnson and wide receiver-returner Travis Benjamin. The other part that puzzles me is the fact Lombari has only received one interview over the past five years and that was the 49ers two years ago. It just doesn’t add up for me.” [Hensley/AFC North Blog] —- Rekindling, reminiscing about what Bill Selby did to Mariano Rivera on that fateful day [Buckeye Nerd] —- “In other words: what if a franchise brand did not deliver a consistent product? What if the brand’s best product was only available in select geographies? Well Cleveland would support their local Dunks for awhile because it’s a good national brand and the advertising is compelling and it’s got cachet and we haven’t figured out quite what the other options are. But ultimately, if the product sucks, consumers find the other options. The brand suffers. Franchises fail. It’s true with coffee. It’s true with ‘competitive sporting events.’ If Dunks should adopt a policy where Supremo is only served in glam locations while less happening locations get Sanka, the result will be less franchises. Less franchises mean less revenue. All partners see less dollars. Bringing this back to the NBA, the predictable outfall of truly free player movement is a league where the best teams are in, say, eight cities. The other 24 will get suck. After a steady diet of suck, those teams will fold.” [Kanick] —- If you didn’t yet, check out Jacob’s piece on potential Browns picks at #6. [WFNY]
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